You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Sean Penn on El Chapo Interview: ‘It Was a Very Good Failure’

Sean Penn has clarified his comments regarding his article about Mexican drug lord El Chapo, which he previously referred to as a failure.

“I have found throughout my life — and it well be by me — that I am taken very literally, and I don’t know if I mean anything literally,” Penn said Friday at the RSA cyber-security conference in San Francisco (via Mashable).

“What I really meant by failed was to get them to say, ‘Oh, it failed,’ and to keep talking about it,” Penn said. “I sit back at home and I watch them talk about the drug war every f—ing day. It was a very good failure.”

The actor, who set the Internet ablaze after his controversial interview with the drug lord, said he considered his article a failure because it failed to ignite a bigger discussion about the War on Drugs, during an interview with Charlie Rose on “60 Minutes.”

But the actor didn’t fault himself — he said mainstream media failed to see what the article was truly about.

While he said the media’s failure worked to his good, he did not hold off from criticizing the industry. He said the 24-hour news cycle is separating viewers from the truth and destroying journalism. As a writer himself, Penn saw the El Chapo interview as an opportunity to bring his frustrations to the forefront.

“I had felt very strongly that we were repeating in this War on Drugs the mistakes of the Prohibition era, that we were, in my view, complicit in all that comes with them,” Penn said. “And as somebody who writes, I was interested in what would happen between that interaction and my pen. So that was it.”

More Biz

  • Kevin Tsujihara

    Kevin Tsujihara's Ouster Kicks Off a Week of Major Disruption in the Media Business

    The sudden ouster of Warner Bros. Entertainment chief Kevin Tsujihara kicked off what is likely to go down as one of the most extraordinary weeks in Hollywood history, spelling enormous turmoil and transition across the media landscape. In addition to the news about Tsujihara, which comes amid a wider shake-up of leadership at AT&T’s WarnerMedia, [...]

  • Disney Fox mega deal acquisition Illustration

    Disney Completes 21st Century Fox Acquisition

    Before the East Coast airing of “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” ends tonight, Disney will formally seal the deal on its $71 billion acquisition of 21st Century Fox. “This is an extraordinary and historic moment for us — one that will create significant long-term value for our company and our shareholders,” Disney chairman-CEO Bob Iger said in [...]

  • Chinese Tech Firm Huawei Seeks Content

    Beleaguered Chinese Tech Firm Huawei Seeks Content for Expansion Into Southeast Asia

    One of the most surprising first-time attendees at FilMart is Chinese tech giant Huawei, which has come to Hong Kong to acquire the video content it needs to support its strategy of expansion into Southeast Asia. The company is currently embroiled in a PR nightmare as it defends itself against accusations that its equipment could [...]

  • Viacom HQ LA

    Viacom Goes to War With AT&T Over DirecTV Carriage Deal

    Viacom has declared war against AT&T, blasting the telco giant on several fronts as the companies wrestle over a carriage renewal deal that is vital to Viacom’s long-term financial health. As of today, Viacom has begun running crawls and promo spots on its channels warning viewers that Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, BET, MTV and other channels [...]

  • Peloton Sued for $150 Million for

    Peloton Sued for $150 Million for Using Drake, Lady Gaga Music Without License

    A group of publishers including Downtown Music Publishing, Pulse Music Publishing, ole, peermusic, Ultra Music, Big Deal Music, Reservoir, Round Hill, TRO Essex Music Group and The Royalty Network filed a lawsuit against Peloton for infringement of more than a thousand musical works, according to a statement from the National Music Publishers Association. The plaintiffs are [...]

  • Bruce Ramer Re-Appointed to Corporation for

    Bruce Ramer Re-Appointed to Corporation for Public Broadcasting Board

    Top showbiz attorney Bruce Ramer has been reappointed to the board of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the nonprofit org that administers federal funding for public broadcasting. Ramer, a partner at Gang, Tyre, Ramer, Brown & Passman, was elected chair of the CPB board in October. He previously served as board chair from 2010-2012. His [...]

  • Gary Knell

    Listen: National Geographic Chief Gary Knell on Disney Future, Fox's Legacy

    The marriage of National Geographic Partners and Disney, which becomes official today, is the proverbial brand match made in heaven. Disney is taking over the stewardship of Nat Geo Partners — a joint venture with the National Geographic Society — as part of its acquisition of 21st Century Fox. The transition comes at a time [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content